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Barchester logo

Company: Barchester Healthcare

Location: Throughout the UK – 250 care homes and mental health hospitals.

One of the biggest independent care providers in the UK, Barchester specialises in delivering top quality care.

Sarah Lander-scottWe asked Sarah Lander-Scott, Head of Customer Contact & Experience, to describe her experience of measuring and improving Net Promoter Score using real-time feedback from residents, family and friends.

Tell us about Barchester…

We provide care for those who need it. The majority of residents living with us are elderly but we also have a large number of young people who need a care home or hospital facility. We provide care, hospitality services and a life enrichment programme that caters for mind, body and soul.

We’re a premium provider of care.

Carrots on a plate

Homemade meals are prepared and served fresh, daily by on-site chefs. In-house laundry and activities teams help residents and patients to feel at home with the things they love around them. Our care teams range from carers, to nurses to physiotherapists, and they work together to deliver person centred care and the best health that is possible for individuals to celebrate life. We’re known for making care and quality our top priorities.

Our people love the ethos of Barchester – of quality being the most important element in everything we do.

We all work with a “whole home” mentality because we understand a care service is a team effort with everyone working together to provide great care and a first rate customer experience.

Why were you looking for a customer feedback system?

We wanted a robust yet simple way to gather and collate feedback at various touch points across our 250 sites.

Mount Vale Care Home

We needed the solution to be simple for all our customer age groups to use, and the ability to make slightly different questions available to the different types of customers.

Most importantly we wanted the feedback to be available instantly in each home so that praise can be celebrated and any issues resolved immediately.

Over time, we needed to be able to identify trends to drive business improvement and to gather evidence to inform our investment plans.

We didn’t want anything overly complicated or requiring too much technical knowledge – our people are extremely busy, hands on carers. For the feedback to make a positive impact we needed them to be able to view and and act on responses quickly and easily.

Trinity Manor Care Home

How did the implementation go?

Having worked with several other providers in the past for customer feedback, we knew we wanted a provider who would listen to our needs and quickly be able to implement a solution that was simple to deploy and which made it easy to retrieve results.

CustomerSure offered exactly that, with excellent value for money – and they’re a pleasure to work with. They offer advice and support whenever we need it, and they’re in constant “do” mode, helping us to get going and supporting us to get results.

Honestly CustomerSure is one of my favourite suppliers to work with (and we have so many suppliers and agencies!) as they make it so enjoyable and easy – a very humble team doing great things.

Due to Covid things were delayed slightly but the pilot was quick and easy and full deployment went completely smoothly too – we now have 12,500 residents and patients who can share their views and also gather feedback from hundreds of potential customers per month. 20,000 team members internally are aware of the surveys and system we use.

It was faster than I expected and easier – I don’t want to tempt fate for future phases, but the planning and prep really made things so easy for us to go live.

CustomerSure have enabled us to give our residents and patients a voice, and their feedback drives us to make necessary changes to improve the customer experience.

The system makes reporting so simple. It would be great to keep seeing reporting evolving, as we’re early on our journey so we spot things and raise requests as we go.

One word to describe them? “Supportive!”


What results have you achieved?

The culture shift is still early in its journey but we can see progress already – NPS was not a measure that was in place nor known about, now it’s a KPI.

More importantly, although NPS is a KPI it’s not targeted as we’re truly interested in reading every response and fixing issues to make a difference for our residents, rather than chasing NPS as a number.

We’ve had action plans in place for key business areas based on the feedback we’ve received, and after seeing year on year improvements we’ve noticed that buy-in from our teams has increased too.

We’ve been able to give our regulator evidence to show how acting on feedback has led to an improvement in our quality scores.

We’re now at our highest ever quality ratings across the board.

In terms of commercial benefits – we know quality drives the commercials so the better the feedback is, the more likely it is that the reputation of the home/hospital will be good and this will drive high occupancy which is our key commercial target.

Any surprises in the feedback?

It wasn’t a surprise but a fabulous reminder of just how much good feedback can be received on the wonderful service that care teams are delivering every day – we use feedback on team members for reward and recognition.

We were surprised by the differences between sites in terms of preferences for food and activities in different regions with different traditions. It taught us a valuable lesson that we can’t make business wide decisions on some things – it has to be at a care home level and based on preferences.

What advice would you give to others?

Do it, you won’t regret it. Keep it simple, and get in touch if you want to compare best practice!

Avoid overly expensive feedback tools and vendors who aren’t fit for purpose. Lots of whistles and bells isn’t what you need! I certainly did and we don’t regret it at all – neither does our finance director ;-)

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